Karan Bilimoria declared London Entrepreneur of the Year

Hyderabad: Karan Bilimoria, founder and chief executive of Cobra Beer, has been recognised as London''s Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 for Consumer Products, at the Ernst & Young regional award banquet to honour the best British entrepreneurs across the country.

"I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award, one that celebrates the achievements of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovation, vision and determination are the driving force of business in the UK today," says Bilimoria.

Created back in 1986 by Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme is a regional, national and international annual award programme, which identifies and recognises the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs within successful growing dynamic businesses. Growing in stature and prestige through the years, it is now established as the most prestigious business award in more than 35 nations worldwide.

In 1990, after having qualified as a chartered accountant, London, and graduated in law from Cambridge University, Bilimoria developed a less gassy Indian lager designed to perfectly compliment Indian cuisine and appeal to lager and ale drinkers alike.

Twelve years later, Cobra Beer is stocked in 5,600 Indian restaurants throughout the UK and is also available nationwide in most major supermarkets and off-licence chains. Cobra Beer is now one of the fastest-growing beer brands in the UK, has been exported to over 30 countries throughout the world and now operates three overseas subsidiaries, in India, the US and South Africa.

"What I have come to learn, from creating Cobra Beer from scratch and against all odds in the most competitive beer market in the world, is that if you have the passion, drive and aspiration to succeed, the sky is the limit," adds Bilimoria. "I have been inspired by past winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and I hope that I can inspire future entrepreneurs to follow their dreams."